Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Semana 12 en Parque Subercaseaux

"This week not too many crazy exciting things happened, but that is okay we are working hard. On Saturday we had a ward counsel to start putting together our ward mission plan. p.s. mission looks so weird in English, it is misiòn in spanish. Anyway we are working a lot with the members, not getting too many references (or actually any at all) but I feel like the blessings are coming soon. I was studying today esperanza (hope) because tonight we are going to have a family home evening with Familia Marìn and each person had to pick a Christlike atribute, study it, and prepare a talk of about 5 minutes to share tonight. Preach My Gospel says that if we have hope we trust that God will fulfill all of the promises that he has made to us. I know that the success doesn`t happen instantaneaously (wow I have no idea how to spell that word) and through our steady, constant efforts we receive blessings. I am hoping that we will start having more success with the Familia Mendez from Colombia. We invited them to church on Saturday night but they told us they couldn`t come because they had to go to mass the next day, but we have another appointment with them on Wednesday and we are going to come with members so that they start making friends in the church and have the desire to go. Maria couldn`t come again because of her mom, but I am okay with it. I know that she will come to church when she can, it is just not her time yet."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fotos de los animales

Elder Cloward says this bear reminds him of the California flag
Chilean police at the zoo

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Semana 11 en Parque Subercaseaux

"So we changed pday today because we went to the Chilean national zoo in the San
Cristóval hill. We saw a lot of animals, except for penguins and sea lions,
which slightly dissapointed me :( but it was still fun. Apparently the zoo is
not open on Monday so that is why we changed pday.
"Anyway, the talk went pretty well. President Jones called me up to give it when
I was not expecting. During the zone conference we had a little break and he
asked me if I had prepared the talk like he'd asked and I told him yes. Usually
when missionaries give talks in zone conferences they announce it before, like
when the bishop or counselors do in sacrament meetings (one of the a.p.´s always
does it) but they didn´t announce anything. Then, while President Jones was
giving his talk (he never has anything written down, he just talks i am sure he
prepares it before but his talks are always great) he just said "I´m going to
ask an elder to come up and give a talk he has prepared about the importance of
obedience and listening the spirit" than he laughed a little bit and said "I
don´t want anyone to think that just because this elder is giving a talk on
obedience means that he is chueco (crooked, disobedient)" and everybody
laughed... so anyway then I got up and gave my talk and when I finished he kept
talking again. I talked about how sometimes the spirit can lead us to do things
that are "against the rules" for example in 1 Nephi 4 when Nephi is commanded to
cut off Laban´s head. but then I explained that these occasions are exceptions to
the rules that only happen very rarely. For example, Nephi never used that
experience with Laban as an excuse to kill someone else, thinking that it would
be okay to do it again if the spirit had commanded him to do it once. I think it
went pretty well, I was kind of nervous talking, since it wasn´t just sacrament
meeting, it was 100 other missionaries, most of which have a lot more experience
than me. But a good experience.
"Not too much news on the investigator front, seems that Maria Eugenia is going
to be able to come to church this next Sunday because her sister will be able to
take care of their mom. So we´ll see how that goes.
"So yeah that´s about it for this week, I don´t have much time to write due to
the whole trip to the zoo thing."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Elder Cloward & Elder Mawhinney
Ghost effect on the camera (and a view of the pension)

The refrigerator magnet that Janessa sent me, plus the sticky notes that Elder Fuller (who lives in the pension with us and went to the U of U... disgusting) put on there. They are basically girly comments that the players are making to each other, such as, "hey John do you like my nails?" "yeah Tom i think they are beautiful." etc. It made me laugh so I told him he could keep the sticky notes on there if he lets me keep the magnet up.

Semana 9 en Parque Subercaseaux

"We don`t have daylight savings until next week, and we gain an hour of sleep instead of losing one. Awesome. I think after my mission I`ll come to Chile for the weekend every time we have to spring forward in the U.S. because we are falling back here. Next week we will be 5 hours apart!

"Pabla is doing well I think, but we are no longer teaching her because she doesn`t live in our sector. We sent the reference to the missionaries in the east mission last week. Maria Eugenia still wants to get baptized, but her mom is very sick and she has to take care of her every day from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., which is when her sister gets home from work and then they switch. So she won`t be getting baptized March 28th as we had hoped I think it`s just not her time yet.but we are working a lot with Seba to help him get the priesthood so we`ll see how that goes.

"We meet with President Jones once every six weeks and we have interviews for about 30 minutes, and we kind of just talk about how we are doing.

"For my birthday I would really just like a tie or two. I kind of need another yellow one, I like the one I have but it is getting old and wrinkly. I know there is something else that I need, but I can`t think of it. If you could send peanut butter and m&ms in my next package that would be great.

"With the new comp I would say that being the exact opposite of Elder Noguera can be a good thing and a bad thing. Elder Noguera was very focused on following the Spirit, and not so much the rules. Elder Carpenter seems to me to be the opposite of that. I am just trying my best to keep all of the rules and follow the Spirit. Sometimes we are so focused on the letter of the law that we turn into Pharisees and forget about the Spirit, and other times we focus so much on the spirit of the law that we end up breaking all of the rules. It is quite the dilemna... President Jones actually asked me to give a talk on that in the next zone conference, which will be this Wednesday. I will let you know how it goes."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Elder Carpenter & Elder Cloward
Part of our district/zone in our district activity today (eating pizza at Telepizza, the local pizza place) hurray for Chileanized Americanized Italian food!

A giant abandoned hospital in the sector next to ours. Apparently they built the whole thing, then a few years later realized that the ground they built it on was unlevel. Way to go structural engineers of Chile.
(he would notice that haha)

Semanas 7 y 8 en Parque Subercaseaux

"After changes this last week, Elder Butterfield is now my zone leader, which is great. He finally left Rivas Vicuña after being there for 5 changes. And Elder Mawhinney is in my district now and it is great to see him every Wednesday for district meetings.

"This week was good. On Monday I left Elder Noguera with the assistants and came back to my new sector with Elder Carpenter. He is from Mesa Arizona (no, he doesn´t know the Giles or anyone else we know from Mesa). He has one little brother that is thirteen, and everyone in his family is a member of the church. He likes photography. He has been in the mission a year and a month and has stayed in the city the whole time. He is shorter and a slight bit stockier than me. I will send a pic. So as far as companions go Elder Carpenter is the complete opposite of Elder Noguera. The polar opposite. I talked to president about that in my interview. He said that is true, there are probably not any two elders in this mission who are more different than they are. So I told president I figure that if I can get along well with the both of them then I can get along with anyone in the mission. He agreed.

(background-Janessa sent Michael a BYU Men's Volleyball magnet with the game schedule on it...) "One of the elders that lives with Elder Carpenter and me is a Ute... ughhh.... so he didn´t really like the magnet we put on the fridge. He accepted it with the condition that he could put sticky note dialogues on the magnet, which consist of the BYU volleyball players saying girly things to each other, such as 'let´s go paint our nails together after the volleyball match,' etc. I will take a pic and send it next week. I thought it was actually pretty funny. We get along really well despite our blood-color differences. (mine is blue)

"The discussions are going well with Maria Eugenia and Sebastian. We went there on Wednesday and told her that we have already set tons of dates with her for her baptism and it never works, so we want her to pick a date. She said she wants to do it March 28th. So we are hoping and praying that this time it will go through. Also, Sebastian put his earring back in, and now the hole in his ear is growing, but we are working with him on that. I don´t think he will get the priesthood in time to baptize his mom, but she is willing to do it without him. The important thing is just that he does it.

"I just hope that Maria Eugenia gets baptized this time but I know that Lord´s will be done in all things. Maria´s mom has been really sick apparently and she lives in another part of our zone, and the missionaries gave her mom a blessing of health and apparently she wants to get baptized now too, which is great, but she is still really sick, and Maria needs to take care of her, which made it impossible for her to come church yesterday, but she still has her date for the 28th of March. Maria is very worried about her mom´s health, so we did a lesson of "comfort scriptures" that we shared with her, such as: 1 nephi 11:17, 2 nephi 2 :24, mosiah 4:9, which are pretty good to remember in the times when we don´t really understand why things go the way the do. Just something to have saved up for a rainy day :)

"There is also another investigator, Pabla, that wants to get baptized. Her cousin and two aunts are recent converts, and she always comes to visit them on the weekends, but during the week she lives and works in the east mission (funny story she is actually one of the p.e. teachers at the school where President Jones´ kids attend) but of course wants to get baptized here. So we are not exactly sure what we are going to do about that. I will keep everyone updated of course.

"Elder Krainik is no longer in this zone, he is in Maipú (pronounced my poo hahaha) it is still in the city but on the outskirts, almost the countryside.

"Alright maybe a little something for the bishop to read:
Dear La Mirada ward,
Hola ¿como han estado? Things are going great down here in Chile. I am now with my fourth companion in Chile, another gringo, which has been really strange after 18 weeks of being with companions from South America. I am forgetting English little by little... the members in our ward are doing well (all fifty of them). We started a new program called "the tie of responsibility" to get the members excited about missionary work (I actually stole the idea from the elder´s quorum in Mar Vista). So we bought a really ugle tie from the street flee market (the feria) for a dollar and then gave it to one of the brothers, and he has to wear it every week until he has a missionary experience, then he can share his experience with the other elders and pass the tie to someone else. We are doing the same thing in relief society but with bright red ugly sunglasses. The ward here is small but they are very excited and help us a lot with the work. Thank you for all of the letters of support I truly appreciate it, especially the poems from Brother Bodell. I am praying for you always!
Love, Elder Cloward